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Kiki and Greg, when manifesting their musical selves, are the cosmic acoustic duo, dancing Light

 

 

Trader's Bay lakeshore on Nov. 20th

Trader's Bay facing east (11/20/08)

November in Northern Minnesota

  The sun cracked the frozen sky this morning. 17 degrees is frosty for a Florida girl.

The windows in the room where I blog face north.  In northern Minnesota, winter comes early and settles in until the April sun starts shining in earnest. Today, the northern wind blasts across the partially frozen lake. There is only a double pane of glass protecting my face from the wind.

Back in the day, AC consisted of a fan blowing over a block of ice. From where I sit, the wind races across 8 miles of ice to reach my home office.

A heavy coat covered my pajamas as I took a three minute run out to the shore and back. Snagged these two photos for you. Probably the extent of my exercise for the day. 

dock and slipper

dock and slipper

In the first photo, the lake has just started to ice over. 

 
Snapped this other photo while running across the one remaining dock section at the shore.  You can see kitty pawprints in the snow. The toasty slippers were last year’s birthday gift from Mom.

 

 

Spinach & Mushroom Muffin Melt with Warm Harvarti and Tarragon Cream

Greg is blending four cups of soaked soybeans and a gallon of water to make tofu for my birthday dinner tomorrow.   Back in the previous millenium, circa 1995, Greg created a tofu dish that has become an annual event. 

Greg’s culinary creation is not on my pH diet, but then neither was the cabernet that accompanied the ahi tuna at yesterday’s birthday lunch. Two girlfriends and I were at the newly remodeled Chase hotel restaurant overlooking Walker Bay of Leech. 

"Just Chocolate" from Chase on the Lake

tofu? spinach? I think not.

Our trio shared a complimentary also not-on-my-diet birthday dessert. The Chase calls it “Just Chocolate.” It consists of chocolate layer cake, chocolate brownie, chocolate mousse and chocolate sauce. The three of us made it halfway through before running up the white flag. 

 

So back to Greg and his culinary genius …  Greg sautees slabs of fresh tofu in unsalted butter and tamari and sets them aside. Sliced meadow or crimini mushrooms are sauteed in olive oil with a little garlic and onion. After the mushrooms are soft and ready to eat, Greg puts a bunch of fresh spinach on top of the mushroom mixture in the pan. The heat from the mushrooms and the cast iron skillet wilts the spinach. Toasted whole wheat english muffins are buttered with earth balance spread. The 1995 original used unsalted butter. Either is great by me. Both ways are yummy.

  
Greg plates the dish. Doesn’t that sound snobby? Food Network/Iron Chef overload, no doubt.

 

In true Yookish fashion, Greg puts two muffin halves on a plate, butter side up. He lays the tofu on a muffin, then covers the tofu with the spinach-mushroom mixture. That get’s covered with a slice of creamy havarti on top.

 

Now you’d think that would be decadent enough, but Greg really knows how to push the envelope. For the finale, Greg covers the whole shebang with a tarragon cream sauce. The hot cream sauce and warm spinach mushroom mixture melt the soft havarti.  It is the most sensual blend of textures and flavors, and I am a grateful and lucky girl!

 

Tomorrow I will share a photo with you … if I can restrain myself long enough to point and shoot. mmmmmmmmmmm – Kiki
 
 
How Greg makes fresh tofu

 

use multiples of these proportions
(Greg makes 4 times this much)

 

  • 1 cup of soybeans, soaked overnight
  • 1 quart of good water
  • 3/4 teaspoon Epsom salt
Blend water and soybeans in a blender for about three or four minutes
Do this in batches according to your blender’s capacity
Strain through a piece of fabric – like a cotton flour-sack towel
Heat the liquid in a double boiler over boiling water for 20 minutes
Off the heat, add Epsom salt while the soy milk is hot
Let hot soymilk coagulate for about 20 minutes
Line your tofu mold (Greg uses flat bottomed colander) with cotton fabric
Put the curds on the fabric
Press with a 20 pound weight (Greg uses 2 1/2 gallons of water in a container)
Leave under weights for two to four hours depending on how firm you want the tofu
the longer you press, the firmer the tofu
use the same way you’d use tofu from the store
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